It took a furious comeback late in the game, but the No. 19 UMass Minutemen survived a close one against Saint Joseph's, 66-62, at home Wednesday night in the team's Atlantic 10 opener.
The Hawks led by nine with 6:23 to go before Chaz Williams led a 15-5 run to put the Minutemen ahead with 1:01 to play. Williams scored eight points in that span and finished with a game-high 22 points. Maxie Esho came off the bench to score 12 more on 6-of-7 shooting.
Halil Kanacevic had 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for Saint Joseph's, and Langston Galloway added 18 points. Turnovers, however, plagued the Hawks all night. They coughed it up 17 times, counteracting a 50 percent shooting night from the field and a 35-28 advantage on the glass.
The win gave UMass three in a row and bumped the Minutemen up to 13-1 on the season. Saint Joseph's dropped to 9-5 and saw its five-game winning streak snapped.